I used to love Twitter. Now I kind of hate it.
A few Fridays ago I decided we did not need each other anymore and quit using it. I figured that was that, but in my time away I gave this hate thing a bit of thought and came to the following conclusion: Twitter in general is probably fine and I should start using it again, but my usage needs to be adjusted or I’ll be back at square one.
So here we are about two weeks later, and I’m back on Twitter. All is not rosy but there is hope for a better experience, starting with some major changes to my feed.
I can’t control what other people do with Twitter, but I sure as hell can control what parts I see.
This means it’s time to revamp the follow list. Again.
Unfortunately, this also means some of you have to go.
Today, this website imploded. It didn’t kind of implode, it IMPLODED. Somehow the database went all screwy and content either disappeared from the site or was added to the site, depending on which page you were viewing.
It all started when I wanted to add an image to a blog post. Seemingly easy to do, in practice not so easy, at least on WordPress 3.5.1.
Posted in Modal, webdev
I’ve been having an absolutely SPLENDID time playing with Rails, but after a while away from PHP the urge to “go home” overwhelms. I guess it’s hard to warm up to web frameworks that are so…so…alien. Rails is great, but holy shiz, it’s…Rails.
I have more history with CodeIgniter. I like it, and I suspect if you’re reading this you either like it too or you’re stuck building a site with it. Either way, hi.
So, yeah. Editing and uploading. I’m going to assume your editing and uploading will be for posts (news, blog posts, etc.) and the files will be images for the posts. The ol’ 80/20 rule, right? I think I’m safe with this assumption.
Still with me? Read on.
Have you ever worked on a website that had a navigation menu in a sidebar? Sure, we all have. And did any of the menu items have a submenu? I’m guessing that’s affirmative. And did submenus need to appear only when their parent menu item was selected? And did the current submenu item and its parent menu item need to be highlighted simultaneously? Gonna throw the affirmative switch two more times.
I’ve done this a bazillion times in PHP sites, but recently I got to do it in a Rails site. And let me tell you, the solutions aren’t obvious in Rails. Luckily there’s no shortage of gems that will install over-engineered systems to handle this (IMO) simple task. Not being a fan of over-engineered systems unless I authored them, I turned to Google for help.
You know what? No one in the entire Milky Way Galaxy has ever done this before without installing a pointless gem! Shocking! Free Internet help strikes again!
So a-hacking I went. And I figured it out. And I didn’t have to install any bloatware to do it.
Boiled down to its essentials, I accomplished what I needed with four things:
- Named routes
- A helper that executes exactly one line of code
- A menu built with link_to anchors (no raw HTML, please)
- Absolute-positioned submenus (CSS)
Interested? Read on.
When I got my new MacBook Pro, I decided to make the switch to HDMI for audio and video. It’s great, but there’s one irritant: HDMI’s digital audio is “normalized” so the system’s built-in volume control won’t work. Apps like iTunes offer their own volume controls but at a system level I was screwed.
That is, until I found Soundflower.
Simply put, if you are in the same predicament, do the following:
- download and install Soundflower
- start System Preferences and set your Sound output to Soundflower (2ch)
- run Applications/Soundflower/Soundflowerbed and choose HDMI as your output
Voila, the system volume control will control HDMI audio.
Note that this bypasses some inner-digital-audio shenanigans so your audio output won’t be like buttuh anymore, but if you’re an audio neanderthal like me you may not care (my external speakers are in my monitor. That shows how much I care about computer audio).
(You may need to set up Applications/Soundflower/Soundflowerbed to start when you log in. Maybe not. I set it up because I want the Soundflower menu item available in the menu bar. Experiment if you’re curious.)
I’ll make this short and sweet: after a trial period in which I did lots of work on cool projects, a fair bit of soul searching, and a lot of priority assessment, I have decided to return to contracting.
Yes, this means I have removed myself from full-time employment at tenfour agency.
My time at tenfour is valuable to me and will remain so as I return to contracting. And I’m going to miss the hell out of my former teammates, I really will. Regardless, I’m throwing myself back in the ocean to swim around a bit more before settling down with one company.
I wish everyone at tenfour all the best and I look forward to maintaining the friendships that developed over the months that I worked there. It’s a great company, and I’m sure in no time at all someone else will be found that will fill my (former) shoes.
The adventure continues. More details later.
(Side note: I do not intend to re-start my LLC at this time, so please understand when I request that people not refer clients to me or solicit freelance work directly. It’s nothing personal, just business.)
Today the 2012 SoMe awards ceremony took place at the Fez Ballroom here in Portland. My company, tenfour agency, won the SoMe Agency of the Year award, mostly (exclusively?) because of the Tweet-a-Beer website that we produced in February/March for SXSW.
Yeah, I built the front-end of that site. Lots of long hours. Lots of gray hair. And now, I get to brag about it.
Indulge me, I rarely get to do this.
Okay, I’m done. Time to move on.
Like many web devs, I need to know about Ruby on Rails even if I’m only a front-end guy. It’s a decent framework, actually, but versions can be a problem so I need to use RVM to manage my RoR work environments. So when I got a new MacBook last week, RVM and RoR were high on my list of things to install.
First, some back-story
When browser vendors want to support CSS attributes that are either proprietary or experimental, they frequently isolate their implementations by adding what’s called a vendor prefix to the attribute. This allows vendors to experiment, and it’s generally understood that if/when the attribute becomes fully cooked and part of a CSS standard, the vendor prefix will be dropped.
Posted in css, webdev
Tagged css, webkit
It had to happen sooner or later, right? Change: it’s one of the constants in our lives, next to breathing and eating and fill-in-the-blank. I’ve been through lots of changes over the years, some good and some bad, but luckily most have been good. This latest change is definitely in the good column.
The change: I just accepted a full-time position at tenfour agency. My title won’t fit easily on a business card, especially the tiny ones they use at tenfour: Senior Front-end Web Developer/Designer. Inhale.
The not-so-happy part of this deal: I need to put Modal to rest. My attention needs to be focused on my new role at tenfour, and working full-time and freelancing don’t mix well (I tried it. It doesn’t work), so one has to go. I’ll miss the loose schedule, the ability to meet people during the day, not having to request vacation time…but I’m trading it all for a rockin’ job with an awesome crew, and for that I’m grateful. I’ve admired tenfour from a distance for some time now so it’s a real kick to be taken under their wing. Good times, totally.
To all my clients here in Oregon and beyond, thank you for helping me get to this point. I appreciate the work, and I appreciate the mix of folks that I’ve worked with. I wish you all the best, and I hope you find someone out there to take my place that’s almost as good as I am. Okay, as good if not better. But we all know “almost” is right, don’t we? Yes, we do.
I’m keeping this website around for a least a little while. Maybe I’ll keep it forever. My LLC is going to be killed within days, but the domain is mine so I may as well continue with it. At least two people read it and I don’t want to make them mad.
Happy new year, folks! It’s already a doozy.